Inflation forecasts impact cost of campus meals

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Tuition and general fees will not increase next fall, but inflation is leading to cost increases in room and board at Bowling Green State University.

At its meeting Friday (Feb. 29), the University's Board of Trustees approved an average meal plan rate increase of 4.73 percent for the 2008-09 academic year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting a food inflation rate of 4 to 4.5 percent, with the greatest increases in eggs and dairy products. The fee increase was required for University Dining Services to achieve a balanced budget as well as provide adequate funds for reinvestment in dining facilities and equipment, according to campus officials who say they're trying to keep fee increases to a minimum.

Students will still be able to choose from several meal plan options. The bronze meal plan, the most commonly used, is currently $1,339 per semester. Next year the same plan will cost $1,400 per semester. Less expensive and more costly plans will be available as well.

Residence hall room rates will increase an average of 2.83 percent effective fall semester. Rates approved by the Board of Trustees vary by the room option chosen; some rates are staying the same or decreasing slightly, while others will cost more.

Sheri Stoll, vice president for finance and administration, said the University is attempting to keep costs to students down by utilizing differentiated rates for different categories of room types. She explained that the rate changes were designed to be responsive to differing student needs and demand for particular room types and amenities. Additional considerations included comparing the University's housing options and pricing to what is available locally as well as comparing BGSU room and board costs to those at other public universities in Ohio.

“With these modest increases, the University will be able to meet mission-critical functions as well as continue ongoing efforts to address changing student needs,” Stoll said.  

A case in point is the current trend of more students choosing to attend summer school. In response to that trend, for the first time BGSU will offer 12-month room contracts in some residence halls. In addition to having the convenience of on-campus living, students won't be faced with the inconvenience of finding and moving into different accommodations for the summer session, but may be able to remain in the same room throughout the calendar year.

Expressing its support of Dr. Sidney A. Ribeau's performance as president of BGSU, the board voted to add one year to his contract, extending it through June 30, 2011.

In other action, the trustees conferred emeritus status on Dr. Leigh Chiarelott, a professor in the School of Teaching and Learning; approved the naming of various University rooms and facilities in honor of donors to the University's Building Dreams Campaign, and named four new members to the WBGU-TV Public Advisory Council for Television (PACT).

The new PACT members include Pat Good and Jeffrey Kirkman of Lima, Sarah Kurpp of Fostoria and Martin White of Archbold. In addition, Jan Osborne of Ottawa was approved for a second three-year term on PACT.

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(Posted March 01, 2008 )